If the EU Wins Enough Nobel Prizes, It Might Be Able to Bail Itself Out With the Money…

The Nobel Prize Committee is often good for a laugh, or at least the occasional outbreak of widespread incredulity. As Der Spiegel writes on occasion of the EU receiving the Nobel Peace Prize:

Meanwhile, social networks are filled with wise cracks about how the EU, in light of the euro crisis, certainly wouldn't qualify for a Nobel Prize in economics. And there is also considerable speculation online about which of the numerous presidents of EU institutions will ultimately accept the prize. Some newspapers are even calculating how many pence each Brit would get if the €1 million in prize money were divvied up among them.

The gloating underscores the extent to which the debate over the EU has taken a life of its own in Britain. What is considered to be historical fact on the Continent is disparaged as EU propaganda in the UK. "To be sure, France and Germany have not gone to war since 1945," writes Spectator blogger James Forsyth. "But to chalk that up solely to the European Union is a profound misreading of history." He described the decision in Oslo as "bizarre."

Of course, critics of the EU also raised their objections on Friday in other European countries. In Greece, a spokesperson for the opposition Syriza party said that, because of the EU, "we are experiencing what really is a war situation on daily basis … there is nothing peaceful about it." Meanwhile, the Norwegian Peace Council declared that the EU in the past year has stood for the "opposite of peace." In Germany, the conservative daily Die Welt criticized the "forced political correctness of a jury that has overlooked the unpleasant reality of the euro crisis" in awarding the prize.“


(emphasis added)

Actually, why should it not also win the Nobel Prize in economics? Paul Krugman got one too after all!

We would tend to agree with Mr. Forsyth that chalking peace in Europe up to the existence of the European Union is a stretch – at least it is one nowadays. We might have judged the issue differently in, say, the 1960's or 1970's, before the 'socialist super-state' project was born. The founders of the EU (Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi, Robert Shulman) had a completely different vision of Europe in mind: they wanted to restore the Europe of the age of liberalism, in a reaction to the devastation wrought by the forces of fascism and socialism in the inter-war and WW2 period. They wanted to restore free trade and the free movement of capital and people. They absolutely did not want to create a Moloch in Brussels spitting out hundreds of thousands of pages of bizarre regulations.

That said, giving the EU the peace prize is slightly less absurd than giving one to US president Obama was. That still ranks as the most jaw-dropping decision of the committee ever. Of course there was a specific intent behind that decision at the time (just as the decision to give the prize to the EU is probably intended to help mitigate against a EU break-up). They wanted to prod him into giving up the two wars the US was embroiled in at the time. Getting the peace prize did however nothing to discourage Obama from engaging in the  morally highly dubious 'drone war', with its reportedly high incidence of civilian 'collateral damage' and the great likelihood of producing more blow-back down the road (which will then be conveniently blamed on anything but US foreign policy conduct). Mind, we are certainly no fans of the reactionary medieval throwbacks of the radical Islamist movement, but poking around in hornet's nests in Waziristan with little regard to civilian casualties is bound to create more problems than it allegedly solves.

We should perhaps also mention here that the UN's IPCC (the UN's climate hysteria division) got the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, presumably in recognition of…well, we're not quite sure in recognition of what. Well-organized shrimp-fests for 'climate officials' on the tax payer's dime? It can't have been its powers of prediction, that's much is certain (we're still waiting for those “50 million climate refugees” to turn up somewhere…they were supposed to arrive two years ago).

Back to the EU though – predictably, the chief eurocats were all tickled pink over what they evidently regard as a major propaganda victory, from European Parliament President Martin Schulz to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso, and of course everyone's favorite 'damp rag', European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Gushed Schulz:

“Reconciliation is what the EU is about. It can serve as an inspiration. The EU is a unique project that replaced war with peace, hate with solidarity."

That opinion is not shared by everyone:



A major tradition of protesters in Greece these days is the burning of the EU's flag…

(Photo source unknown, via tfa.net)



Gerhard Schröder called it a 'rejection of nationalism' (but is it also a rejection of the subsidiarity principle, we wonder?) and former French president and 'co-prince of Andorra' Valerie Giscard d'Estaing declared himself happy as well. Giscard d'Estaing, it may be remembered, not only let loose French fighter jets on rebels in Mauritania who tried to overthrow the regime France had installed there (not that the rebels were any better…), he was also good friends with the brutal and crazy dictator of the Central-African Republic, “His Imperial Majesty” Jean-Bedel Bokassa, from whom he occasionally received smuggled diamonds as gifts (he supported him until it became clear that Bokassa's position was growing shaky).

The image 'Der Spiegel' used in connection with its main report on the EU receiving the peace prize was unintentionally funny and revealing:



The picture gracing the 'Spiegel' article on the EU's peace prize win: The EU flag and two men giving the clenched fist salute – which is commonly associated with socialists, and at times even less savory characters.

(Photo by Vadim Ghirda / AP)



We also wonder a bit what is going to happen with the €1 million the Nobel committee is going to award.  Since it won't make much difference to the ESM (the EU would have to win the prize a few 100,000 times for it to make a significant dent in the debt crisis), it could perhaps be used to top up the jackpot of the state lottery in Greece. That would make at least one person in Greece happy…


Addendum: Biggest Diamond Ever

In completely unrelated, but also slightly bizarre news, astronomers have discovered a diamond that is about twice as big as planet Earth. In fact, the diamond is a planet as well, going by the rather prosaic name “55 Cancri E”.



Planet 55 Cancri-E: an enormous diamond orbiting a sun in the constellation of Cancer.

(Image credit: Haven Giguere)

There's only one problem with this otherwise quite exciting discovery: this fabulous piece of ice bling is 230 trillion miles distant. At least De Beers will be relieved to hear it – especially as diamond prices have recently taken a dive:



Average best price for top 25 quality 1 carat diamonds. Color between D and H,  clarity between IF and VS2 (no inclusions or very slight inclusions seen with 10 times magnifying glass) – click for better resolution.




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5 Responses to “News From Absurdistan – EU Wins Peace Prize”

  • jimmyjames:

    Maybe they should have named the prize “no child left behind” considering the program that has that name has been a complete failure-at least this way it would look like a success story-

  • One has to question who is on the Nobel commitee? I thought the Obama award was absurd, as he hadn’t done anything. Clearly they are in the business of promoting fascism, as they now promote the EU fascists who might be communist socialists instead. They give NYT moutpiece Krugman a Nobel and if this guy ever had a legitimate theory, he stole it. Clearly this was to promote what they knew Krugman was going to spit out in government deficit spending and CB money expansion.

    Another thing. Here we have organizations praising fascist policies. I have been seeing a lot being put out how Austrian economics had the backing of fascist organizations. I have tried to answer those charges where I have seen them, as it is clear those making the charges have never read the literature. There is a lot made of Rothbard being tied to the Volker fund, which Rothbard made clear back in the 1960’s, as his writings and research were under grant. Now it is the Rothschilds and others. The more I read of Rothbard, the farther from state control he gets. Are we in the time of Orwellian doublespeak?

  • Floyd:

    FWIW, it sounds as the creation of “The Onion” that the EU was awarded the Noble prize for peace.

    Any explanation why Diamond prices are on the decline?

    • JasonEmery:

      Floyd asked, ‘Any explanation why Diamond prices are on the decline?’

      Can’t explain the timing, but it is an almost universally accepted fact that diamonds are not rare, like gold is. Rather, they are plentiful, and only with extraordinary manipulation of supply can the price be maintained.

      Regarding Krugman’s Nobel Prize in economics, readers of Antal Fekete are not surprised in the least that a faux economist such as Paul K. would be awarded the prize. Fekete has patiently explained, many times, that any discussion of economics that deviates from party line is rewarded with a fate worse than death. Complete ostracism, as well as complete starvation of research funds, tenure, empoyment, etc.

      The ‘party line’ is a hodge podege of Keynesiansm, Freidmanite, and various forms of ‘trickle down’ voodoo economics. Gold is a barbarous relic, didn’t you know? Or did you not get the memo? Better find it, if you want a teaching position above the community college level.

      • mc:

        To be fair, Austrian Economist Pedro Schwartz, who thoroughly disliked any and all of Krugman’s macro-economic Keynesian wisdom, did compliment Krugman for the work that earned his Nobel. It had nothing to do with the spending of governments and narrowly focused on the nature of trade between developed nations with similar industries. Schwartz even explicitly berated Krugman for opining on economic matters on which he was not an expert. So even if Krugman’s Nobel isn’t a joke or a contrary indicator, his views on macro economics and politics can still be rightly derided as they aren’t in his area of expertise.

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